Lil Wayne was thisclose to making history as the first rap act to open with back-to-back million-selling albums. Thanks to record-setting iTunes sales of 300,000, plus the push provided by a post-VMA on-sale stunt, Weezy’s eagerly anticipated Tha Carter IV will debut at #1 on the Billboard 200 chart next week on sales of 964,000, according to figures provided by Nielsen SoundScan.
That’s more than enough to win out over funky veterans the Red Hot Chili Peppers, who land at #2 with I’m With You thanks to sales of 229,000. That figure is less than half as much as the band’s previous release, the double album Stadium Arcadium, which moved 443,000 copies in its first week on the charts in 2006.
Dance master David Guetta has a solid debut with his star-packed Nothing but the Beat, which lands at #5 (56,000), just barely edging out country singer Jake Owen’s Barefoot Blue Jean Night (55,000).
A number of other artists got a VMA bump, including Adele, whose 21 is up 88 percent to 154,000 (putting her just shy of 3.3 million to date) and Beyoncé’s 4, which climbs five spots to #7 as sales rose by 87 percent to 39,000. Perhaps the biggest boost, though, belonged to VMA performers Young the Giant , whose self-titled debut was up 189 percent to 10,000, jumping 88 spots to #42.
The rest of the top 10: Jay-Z and Kanye West, Watch the Throne (#4, 80,000); Game, The R.E.D. Album (#8, 39,000); Barbra Streisand, What Matters Most: Barbra Streisand Sings the Lyrics of Alan and Marilyn Bergman (#9, 37,000) and NOW 39 (#10, 36,000).
Classic rocker Lenny Kravitz sneaks into the top 20 with his latest, Black and White America, which debuts at #18 (19,000), while country icon Glen Campbell’s final album, Ghost on the Canvas, hits #24 (14,000) and Jill Scott hits #28 with The Original Jill Scott: From the Vault, Vol. 1 (13,000).
A few other acts got some VMA boost as well, including Chris Brown, whose F.A.M.E. is up 43 percent and eight spots to #44 (10,000) and Best New Artist winner Tyler, the Creator’s Goblin, which surges 54 spots to #48 (10,000). Pre-show performers Cobra Starship debut at #50 with Night Shades (9,000). Not only does Lil Wayne top the charts, but his previous album, Tha Carter III, is up 79 percent to #72 on sales of 7,000.
Wayne, of course, tops the iTunes albums chart, followed by the Chili Peppers, Adele, Guetta, Jay and Kanye, a remastered version of the Beatles’ 1, Owen, Foster the People’s self-titled debut, the Pistol Annies’ Hell on Heels and Mumford & Sons’ Sigh No More.
The iTunes singles chart still belongs to Adele, who takes the week with her new single, “Someone Like You,” beating out Foster the People’s breakthrough “Pumped Up Kicks.” In at #3 is “Moves Like Jagger” by Maroon 5, then Lady Gaga’s “You and I,” Cobra Starship’s “You Make Me Feel,” Lil Wayne’s “Mirror,” Rihanna’s “Cheers (Drink to That),” Gym Class Heroes’ “Stereo Hearts,”
LMFAO’s “Party Rock Anthem” and Beyoncé’s “Love on Top.”
With few major releases due this week, look for Wayne to keep the crown for another round.